When our One Mission Society missionaries decide to work in countries around the world, they are not signing up for vacations. Their stories from the mission field are often filled with a mixture of both successes and sadnesses. Oftentimes, the success stories are what keep us going in the midst of the sadness. In Mexico City, where OMS missionaries Steve and Helen Cosslett work with homeless youth, we praise God for each and every victory, but we also remember the tragedies that our missionaries see nearly every day.
Our ministry to street kids in Mexico City is called MEFI. The name is not only an acronym, but a process, which stands for Misericordia (Mercy), Esperanza (Hope), Fe (Faith), and Integración (Integration).
The MEFI website outlines how our missionaries and national coworkers minister to these children with the MEFI process.
“Mercy, underlines our initial contact and the practical help we seek to give the street children/young people, e.g. food, first-aid and shelter. Then we seek to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to these lives, showing them all that it means to be in a relationship with Him, including a hope for the future. If they then decide to embark on a journey with God, their faith will grow as they learn to trust Him and others. Lastly, we desire integration back into society for these street children, so that, in turn they can impact their families (if possible) and other street children by the changes they see in them.”
Unfortunately, when homelessness, jail time, drug addiction, prostitution, and other disheartening circumstances are thrown into the mix, this process turns into more of a roller coaster for the children and youth who meet our missionaries.
Meet Jenni. Jenni has been part of MEFI for about four years. After a life of drugs, she decided in January of this year that she wanted to check in to rehab. Our missionaries took her to the rehab center outside of the city and shared their testimonies. One of the workers who often visited her at the rehab center shared his story of how he conquered his drug addiction with God’s help. After about a month of being in rehab, Jenni went missing. After weeks of searching for her, MEFI recently received a phone call from the morgue saying they had a body that matched Jenni’s description. Their fears from the past weeks were confirmed when workers identified the body as Jenni’s. They were told that she died from cardiac arrest … probably because of her habitual drug abuse over several years.
Since arriving at the drop-in center, Jenni had grown very close to a lot of the workers and had several friends through MEFI. Although her death has given them a reason to mourn, her time at MEFI also has given them a reason to celebrate. With the help of our missionaries, and by the grace of God, Jenni was baptized four years ago. Our missionaries worked closely with Jenni and saw the change that Jesus was making in her life. When the sadness creeps in, they are reminded that Jenni is now pain free in the presence of God.
Praise God with us that, even though we lost Jenni, she was saved. Please pray for MEFI and our missionaries in Mexico City. Pray that this ministry would continue to be “a doorway from the darkness of the street to the dawn of abundant life!”
If you would like more information about MEFI, visit: www.mefi.co
By Christina Franks, OMS Summer Communications Intern